Important note for companies which filed annual share scheme returns

As we have reported previously, HMRC now operates an online registration and notification system for employee share schemes (ERS Online).

All annual returns for tax year ended 5 April 2015 for employee share schemes (whether tax-advantaged or not) had to be filed by 6 July 2015.

Earlier this year, however, HMRC reported technical operating difficulties, and the ERS Online system was taken down shortly before the original scheme returns deadline of 6 July 2015, to allow work to be carried out to correct a fault. HMRC then made the system available again to users from 20 July 2015, and the original deadline was extended to 4 August 2015.

HMRC has now confirmed that these technical faults adversely affected uploaded files relating to a number of scheme returns, submitted via ERS Online before 20 July 2015. We understand that HMRC will be writing to the companies concerned requesting them to resubmit their share scheme returns. We also understand that penalties for late submission will not be imposed in this case (on the basis that the original returns were submitted via ERS Online in good faith!)

We understand that HMRC proposes to issue a letter to the companies concerned shortly. This letter is likely to be addressed to the relevant Company Secretary, so this is something to look out for in case your company (or one of your client companies) is one of those affected.

If you or your clients would like to discuss any of the developments mentioned in this newsletter, please contact:

Robert Postlethwaite rmp@postlethwaiteco.com

David Reuben dgr@postlethwaiteco.com

Stephen Chater spc@postlethwaiteco.com

Judith Harris jdh@postlethwaiteco.com

or call us on 020 3818 9420